|1/2||teaspoon||Yellow Food Color|
|5 1/2||pounds||Flour, All Purpose|
Make the poolish. Mix the 2 pounds of flour with the 2 pounds of water and the 1.5 grams of yeast. Mix for 10 minutes. Allow to sit over night. NOTE: If making the poolish for more than one batch, add an extra .25# of each water and flour (4.25# water, 4.25# flour). This will allow for what sticks to the container or evaporation over night, allowing you to use 4# of poolish for each batch.
Each batch yields a dough of about 13 pounds. I divided this into two 6.5 pound portions, and placed in my plastic dough boxes for first rise for 1 hour, degassed, folded, and allowed to rise for 2nd hour. Then I portioned and shaped.
Disolve the sugar and the salt in the remaining water.
If adding the raisins, add now, handfull at a time and allow to mix in. Remove from the mixer.
Make a glaze out of the remaining eggs, sugar and water. Brush challahs and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake at 325ï¿ƒï¾ƒï¿¢ï¾€ï¾šï¿ƒï¾‚ï¿‚ï¾°F for about 40 minutes.
Doubling this recipe is more than the mixer properly handle, causing some flour to fly out of the bowl. DOUBLING IS NOT ADVISED!
For special events, one batch will make 2 beautiful 2 layer braided challahs. 1st layer consisting of 5 .75# ropes and the top layer 4 .5# ropes.
If seeking to bake more than two loaves at a time, try to keep weight down to 2 pounds. At 2.5 pounds, two breads on one tray will surely touch. Especially at 3 pounds.
10/3/2005 - Made the challahs for Rosh Hashanna as usual... but want to comment on the process.
First, I made the poolish this year. I changed it to 2.5 flour and water, but... in the future, I'd stay with the 2#. It's hard to dissolve the salt and sugar without.
Also, 2 pounders seem to be where it's at. I made 6 of them, and then about 10 1.5# units to give away. With the 1.5 pounders, I was able to get 5 on a full sheet pan, and 2 easily on a half sheet. The silpats worked really well for the Combi oven, and I left them on the pans for the Jade.... Big oven was set at 350, and I still needed the convection to keep up with the others. The Combi got done first, as usual.
In the picture are 2# loaves... you can see they touched.
8/25/10 No time for poolish so I did an autolyse. Mixed the flour with all the water and let it sit a half hour. I then added the eggs, oil, etc.
Add the vanilla, food color, eggs, and oil. Mix well to beat in the eggs. (You can use a whisk for this).
Add the poolish, flour, and baking soda. Mix on Hobart for about 2 minutes on low to incorporate everything. Then raise speed to 2nd for about 8 more minutes, or till dough passes window pane test.
To portion the dough, you have to decide on the size you want, and remember that the yield will vary depending on whether or not you added raisins. 2# loaves fit well on my sheet pans. 2.5# start to touch. You will get 6 2# loaves out of a dough, 7 if you add raisins. You may come up short of 9 1.5# loaves without the raisins, depending on the weight of the eggs, and the accuracy of your measurements. In the picture, I've pre-shaped them into 2# portions. I used this shape for the pre-shape as I'll be rolling them out to make a round challah
Roll out the portion, and then put into the spiral shape. I flatten the end of the rope, and tuck it between two of the spirals to keep it in place, sort of like your thumb between your index and middle finger.